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Government shuts down mining sites after six people hospitalized

Six people have been hospitalized after consuming spring water that was contaminated with poisonous chemicals believed to be syenite from one of the mining processing plants in Ndemra Village-Nyatike Sub County.

Speaking at the mining processing plant that resulted in the poisonous spillover, Nyatike Deputy County Commissioner Daniel Omukoko said that such negligence with no regard to human and livestock lives will not be tolerated.

Omukoko said that the facility which did not have a valid mining license would remain closed; warning all mining processing plants in Nyatike that are operating illegally to remain closed.

The contaminated spring also resulted in the loss of three cows and three goats from the poisonous water.

The administrator noted that the investigation was underway and once concluded the culprits will face the full force of the law for operating illegally and endangering the lives of people, livestock and property.

He said that the County has continued to witness a surge of miners in the area with foreigners flocking to Nyatike Sub County without proper documentation and valid mining licenses.

Omukoko said that the illegal mining sites were depriving the community, and the National and County governments of revenue that could have improved the lives of the residents.

National Government Mining Inspector Abel Chumba elaborated that all operators in the mining industry who do not have valid licenses should remain closed until they legalise their operations.

Chumba said that anybody who wants to invest in mining should visit the Mining Departments in their respective areas to get the legal framework as guided by the Mining Act.

He added that all mining processing plants in Migori with no license will remain closed to prevent any harm that may cost the environment and the lives of the people and livestock.

The official explained that there is no benefit to the County and National government benefits in terms of revenue if illegal miners are allowed to operate freely without following the set mining rules and regulations.

Moris Ogwal, a resident of Ndemra Village-Nyatike Sub County lost two cows from consuming the poisonous water and said that he had lost his investment that he dearly depended on.

Ogwal however applauded the efforts that the government has made in closing down the mining processing plant to ensure no further harm is caused to the residents.

He called upon the processing plants in the area to adhere to the rules set by the mining sector to preserve the lives of the locals and their livestock.

By Geoffrey Makokha

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